Sunday, September 10, 2006


Underneath the baby-on-board window sticker pleasantries, lurks an unintentional menace feared by cyclists everywhere!

Frequently encountered on the school run, often in a menstrual panic on a chaotic mission to drop their sproglings off at school. Meet the chav-mum.


Pony tail hairstyle, smokes fags, often blonde of hair, "blonde" of nature.
Car plate ~ 1985 to 1995, typically well dented (evidence of previous driving errors?), internals neglected (blue smoke, no oil, no maintenance, etc), and I would take bets against the status of MOT & insurance paperwork validity...

Chav-mum commonly stands out when she's driving treacherous manoeuvres around cyclists such as:
  • Overtake, and immediate left turn in front of rider :-(
  • Force-squeezing past cyclists going through unsafe gaps, with only luck & hope informing this bad driving decision :-(
  • Irresponsibly opening car doors without looking for cyclists / motorcyclists / even other cars / in fact ANYONE else! :-(


Perhaps the lack of attention the chav-mum gives to her car (dented, unclean, un-maintained) reflects a lazy outlook towards the role of "the car" generally, perhaps explaining why she doesn't take safe driving skills seriously?

Perhaps chav-mum views the car as an entitlement. A facilitating go-between, a right to drive for life, no matter how poor her driving skills.
Perhaps chav-mum has become ignorant to the reality that the car is a fast moving tonnage of potential foot crushing, bone-snapping, unforgiving metal. Some of her driving I've seen, evidences she has.

Dealing With:

Quite obviously chav-mum has not enrolled herself on an imminent Advanced Driver course. So aside from handing out free highway code booklets, followed by "how to read" videos, the main way to help change this unwittingly-dangerous driver stereotype, I guess is by "street education." In the form of beeps, toots, and other expressions of incredulity, from the innocent party.

Unless chav-mum is informed she's done something wrong or unsafe, she will probably be absolutely oblivious to it, and do it again automatically. You have been warned!

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Oh dear. More class snobbery.

You're talking about working class women, just say it like it is. Chav is just shorthand for 'people I feel justified in looking down on'. What about non-smoking middle-class women dropping their children off at school? The ones with City jobs and enough cash to get their hair done?
I,m a London cyclist too and am well versed with the different tribes of London drivers who menace cyclists, but never have I seen to judge them on class grounds. How very english.

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